If you are a seasoned unschooler with child/ children 9 and older, what, if anything, makes you doubt unschooling? How do you deal with your worries?
My children are 10 and 8 and I go through stages of solid confidence that we are on the right track, and stages of panic and worry that I'm failing them, especially my oldest.
How do you get through the periods of worry and how do you recover? I tend to get stressed out and tell my kids that there are some skills that are simply necessary, and that they need to apply themselves in order to master those skills. Then they get stressed out, and after a week of a "new schedule" which is usually something very minimal, like 10 minutes of math a day, we get relaxed and back to the old normal.
However I believe that my periodic mini (and mega) freak outs and how I deal with them harm our unschooling journey. I need a new way to get over my worries without undermining the unschooling way in the eyes of the kids. I think they start getting the idea there's something wrong with the way we homeschool and that they are behind and missing out on things, and worst of all, my insecurities are to blame. I want to have a fresh start, and I hope it isn't too late.
FWIW, I get panicky when one of my children realizes they are missing a skill that their peers have, and instead of trying to acquire it they choose not to participate in the previously coveted activity that required that skill.
My panic inducing issue #2 I'd like to be able to really prevent myself from giving any unsolicited advice, even if the result might "look badly" on me. Like last week when my 10 yo was making notes from a video to show to her mentor. It was the first time ever that she was making notes, and I should have just kept my mouth shut. I was proud of her effort, she was doing great. But she wanted me to sit with her, to watch the (boring to me) video with her, and I did spent a good chunk of time on this. When she was at the bottom of the page, instead of starting page 2, she started squeezing the rest of her notes between the lines. In little circles. I asked her whether she was planning to redo it or to give it to her mentor just as it was, and she didn't think anything wrong with her notes. My suggestion that the notes weren't very legible this way and my offer to show her at least two possible ways of making notes that are easier to read weren't met with any kind of eagerness. I have to admit that I was worried what her mentor would think of me. I worry that I'd look like a neglectful homeschooler. I really wish I didn't say a thing and let her to continue to be the one in charge of her process, and yet, unfortunately, this cycle is quite common for us.
Any ideas or advice for me?